February 2014

March 4 HBCUs/Women Educators Guest Lecture postponed

Delaware State University has postponed the March 4 guest lecture by Dr. Marybeth Gasman, a historian on higher education, who was slated to give a guest lecture on "A History of HBCUs and the Role of Women Educators in the Longwood Auditorium in the Bank of America Building on campus               Dr. Marybeth Gasman The free and open to the public event will be rescheduled on a date and time to be later announced.. Dr. Gasman is a professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and is one of the leading authorities in the country on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Gasman is a historian of higher education and currently serves as the vice president of the history and historiography section of the American Educational Research Association and as the chair of the American Association of University Professors Committee on HBCUs. Dr. Gasman is the author of several books, including the 2007 book Envisioning Black Colleges: A History of the United Negro College Fund, which was cited as "an invaluable contribution" to the field of higher education for African-Americans and to "the general area of the history of higher education.” Gasman has also published Charles S. Johnson: Leadership Beyond the Veil in the Age of Jim Crow (with Patrick J. Gilpin), Supporting Alma Mater: Successful Strategies for Securing Funds from Black College Alumni (with Sibby Anderson-Thompkins), and Uplifting a People: African American Philanthropy and Education (with Kate Sedgwick). She has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication from St. Norbert College and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Higher Education and Law from Indiana University. Gasman has been a Penn Graduate School of Education faculty member since 2003.

DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman Gives Corporate Wisdom during DSU Visit


DSU President Harry L. Williams and DuPont CEO Ellen Kullman discussed wide range of corporate topics during a 40-minute Open Forum before a packed Longwood Auditorium in the Bank of America Building.

Ellen Kullman shared how she worked her way up through the ranks of DuPont to become its CEO. Ellen Kullman, CEO of DuPont and the chair of its Board of Directors, and DSU President Harry L. Williams engaged in a dialogue during a Feb. 11 Open Forum on the current emphasis of Delaware’s largest private employer, the importance of connecting science with the marketplace, and the important skills needed to work for the company. The discussion took place on stage in the Bank of America Building’s Longwood Auditorium before a standing-room-only crowd of students and faculty. As the DuPont CEO since 2009, Ms. Kullman is the 19th executive to lead the company since DuPont was founded in 1802. In overseeing the science company – which has 66,000 employees worldwide – Ms. Kullman has been ranked as #3 among the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" by Fortune magazine, and also was named one of the 50 "World’s Most Powerful Women" by Forbes magazine. Prior to the Open Forum, Ms. Kullman paid a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center where she spoke with student and faculty scientists about the 14 research projects that were on display there in poster presentations. “It was very exciting to see these research projects,” Ms. Kullman said. “I enjoyed the passion that the researchers had for what they are doing.” The DuPont CEO shared that she is a native of Wilmington. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, she worked for Westinghouse and General Electric before joining  DuPont in 1988. On the way to DuPont, she earned a Master of Business Administration degree. In noting that DuPont is a market-driven global science company, Dr. Williams asked the CEO how DuPont “connects the dots” from science to the market. Ms. Kullman said that in the past, DuPont operated under the principal that if the company created the product, the marketplace would come. “Now we spend a lot of time creating cross-sectional teams that work to bring science and engineering to the market,” she said. “If we don’t connect the dots from our science to the market, we won’t be successful.” Ellen Kullman listens to Rita-Kusi Appiah, a plant science graduate student, who explains her epigenetics research. The CEO noted that DuPont has established 12 Innovation Centers around the world, which are places for scientists, marketers and customers to come together and talk about what can be. “It has globalized our company,” she said. Ms. Kullman said in order to stay relevant and successful, DuPont has had to “give up the past, look to the future and do it strategically.” In doing so, DuPont has let go of its longtime traditional paint products operation and also announced plans to spin-off its chemical division to become a standalone operation. “I ran one of those businesses, so it was hard,” Ms. Kullman said. “But at the end of the day, I had to think of the greater whole.” She said because it is a science company, innovation is essential. “If we stop being an innovator, we will stop growing,” she said. “If we make our customers more successful, then we will be more successful.” When Dr. Williams asked her if DuPont would support a public-private partnership to train scientists for the new agriculture revolution, Ms. Kullman said while DuPont believes such partnerships are important, it is equally important for the goals to be aligned. “It has got to be set up for the right kind of success,” she said. “It is more than just giving money, but the money should go to something that you value and that we value.” Ms. Kullman talked about the importance of  how leaders communicate. “I have learned that the consistency of message is important,” she said. “I have learned I need to spend 50 percent more time on communications than I would naturally do.” In talking about the skills DuPont is looking for in college graduates, she said the areas of finance, accounting, marketing, sales, engineering and science research are disciplines important to the company. But she also noted that students should become adept at soft skills. “With the interns we get, I am always interested in learning if they can work as a team,” Ms. Kullman said. “You have to work with people, and for that reason soft skills are important.” She also stressed the importance of finding good mentors. “Mentors helped me understand  my self-awareness, how I come across to people,” Ms. Kullman said. “I think you need to seek out people who will tell you the truth.”

Dr. Jeanne Flavin guest speaker Reproduction Politics March 5

DSU’s Sociology & Criminal Justice Department will present guest speaker Dr. Jeanne Flavin, Fordham University professor of sociology, who will speak on “Our Bodies, Our Crimes: Policing Women’s Reproduction in America” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 5 in the Longwood Auditorium (room 113) of the Bank of America Building on campus.                       Dr. Jeanne Flavin The event – which is also co-sponsored by the organization Sociologists for Women in Society -- is free and open to the public. Dr. Flavin is author of the award-winning book, Our Bodies, Our Crimes: The Policing of Women's Reproduction in America and more than two dozen other scholarly publications. She serves on the board of directors of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a reproductive justice organization which defends the rights of pregnant and parenting women, particularly those whose race, poverty, drug use, or mental health makes them vulnerable to arrest and prosecution. She is the recipient of a 2009 Fulbright research award and the 2013 Sociologists for Women in Society Feminist Activism Award.

Chemistry Guest Speaker to Discuss Novel Polymer Feb. 18

Delaware State University’s Department of Chemistry will host a Feb. 18 guest lecture by Dr. Thomas Schultz of Horizon Partners Ventures, LLC, who will speak on the topic of “Biodegradable, Bio-Renewable Super Absorbent Polymers.”   The guest lecture will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 in Room 323 of the Mishoe Science Center South. The event – which is part of the department’s 2014 Sustainable Chemistry Seminar Series – is free and open to the public.   Dr. Schultz will talk about the development of hydrogels as a biodegradable alternative to polyacrylate-based super absorbent polymers that are a contaminant in the ground and at landfills. Also having received more than $500,000 in research grants since 2011, Dr. Schultz will share insights on how to convince funding entities that an innovation is a better bet to be funded.   Dr. Schultz is currently a partner with Horizon Partners Ventures LLC, a Delaware-based technology firm founded in 2012 as a commercialization business that identifies unmet needs in the chemicals, agriculture, materials and pharmaceutical markets and matches innovations with the right benefits to those needs. Horizon obtains Small Business Innovation Research grants and private funding to provide the research and business development needed to bring the products to market.   Dr. Schultz holds a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry (New York University) and training in Business Management (INSEAD, France). His professional focus is on the building of ‘product engines’ and new initiatives in the physical sciences markets. He has more than 40 patents and numerous publications.   Dr. Schultz’s 30 years as an R&D executive has led to the creation of significant new products at E.I. DuPont, L’Oreal, P&G, Shiseido Ltd., Playtex, Sculptz Inc., Clorox and Bristol-Myers-Squibb across a range of product categories.